Friday, November 2, 2007

Wilderking Trilogy, Part 2

Title: The Secret of the Swamp King

Series: The Wilderking Trilogy #2

Author: Jonathan Rogers

Genre: Mid-grade (8-12) Adventure

Excerpt from “Canebrake,” Chapter 1 of The Secret of the Swamp King:

“He’s making for the canebrake!” Aidan shouted over the thunder of horses’ hooves. Both he and Prince Steren heaved their spears, but the quarry was too far away. The great boar hog slashed his way between wrist-thick stalks of river cane, and his black, bristling mass vanished into the blackness of the canebrake.

Aidan and Steren reined up at the verge of the thicket and pulled their spears out of the spongy ground. “I’ll drive him through the cane on the Bear Trail,” said Aidan. He knew he had no chance of spearing the boar amid the close-set cane stalks, especially without the boar dogs. But if he could drive the big hog through the brake to the trail along the river’s edge, they might get him yet. Aidan gestured toward the south with his spearpoint. “You circle around the canebrake,” he ordered, “and come back up the River Trail. I’ll try to steer him right into you.”

Steren clicked once to his hunting horse and bolted down the edge of the canebrake. Steren was crown prince of Corenwald, the only son of King Darrow. But there was no question about it: When he and Aidan were in the forest, Aidan was in charge.

A fifteen-year-old courtier is sent on an impossible task in a wild swamp by a jealous king.

The Writing: I got so caught up in The Secret of the Swamp King that I forgot to note any problems of the story! If that’s not the mark of good writing, what is?

I do know there was some omniscient narrator intrusion, especially when foreshadowing. But that’s about all that comes to mind. The characters are fun. The plot is well-paced—not the sprint of thrillers, but a nice jog—and the humor is wonderful! The Secret of the Swamp King brought many smiles to my face throughout the tale.

The Story: Like the first book of the Wilderking Trilogy (The Bark of the Bog Owl), The Secret of the Swamp King continues to parallel the story of David. As before, it carries wonderful themes of friendship, loyalty, and so much more, without being preachy overall.

The Summary: I have only one recommendation for this book—get it and read it! Age isn’t a factor; young and old alike will find this a great read.

Rating: 4.5 of 5

Ready to take my recommendation? Order here now.

(Check out the reviews for Book 1 and Book 3 too!)

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